This past week we had the opportunity to donate a vegetarian dinner to help support the Wildlife Waystation in Angeles National Forrest.  Animals have always been near and dear to our hearts so it was great to be able to be part of such a wonderful cause.  To learn more and donate to the Wildlife Waystation click here.


Bread & Water Vegan Chili Recipe

For soaking and cooking beans:

2 lbs dried heirloom beans
water for soaking
¼ cup kosher salt
3 fennel tops or celery stalks
6 cloves of garlic
1 medium onion, cut in 4 pieces

To make the chili:
1 large eggplant
3 medium zucchini
4 large multi-colored bell peppers
olive oil to coat
salt and pepper to season

2 medium red onions
3 cloves garlic
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt

2 tbs chili powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
3 bay leaves
few sprigs of fresh thyme
½ cup tomato paste
1 box pomme or san marzano chopped tomatoes
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
2 cups water
salt to taste

Cooking the beans:

When using dried beans, give yourself 2 days before the actual day of cooking.  For best results, completely submerge by double the dried heirloom beans in cold water for 24 hours before cooking.  After soaking, rinse the beans and put in a large thick bottom pot w/ the salt, fennel or celery stalks, garlic and onion.  Simmer over low heat for at least 4 hrs or until the beans are tender and completely soft.  Drain and rinse beans before adding to the chili.  If you are pressed for time, you can always use already cooked canned beans… :(

Making the chili:

Preheat oven to 425º.  Cut bell peppers in half and seed.  Cut zucchini and eggplant into half inch rounds.  Throw all vegetables together in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Toss and lay flat on a sheet tray.  Roast for 15 minutes, turning them over half way through. Once the veggies are roasted and cooled chop into ½ inch pieces and set aside.  The charred skins of the vegetables combined w/ the smoked paprika lend this vegan chili a smoky and hearty flavor that is usually lost on vegetarian chilis!

Chop the onions & garlic and sauté until translucent w/ the olive oil and salt.  Throw in the tomato paste, spices, bay leaves & thyme and sauté for 1 minute.  Combine the roasted vegetables, cooked beans, vinegar, chopped tomatoes & water in the onion and spice mixture in a large pot.  Simmer for 30 min on low heat.  Add salt to taste, don’t be afraid to add quite a bit as this recipe serves at least 15 people as a hearty cold weather meal.  The longer you simmer the better the flavors, and you can always add more water if the chili gets too thick. 

Feel free to garnish w/ vegan cheese or real cheese or sour cream.  We always love some chives thrown over the top to add freshness and color!  Enjoy!

On a side note this is a great meal to enjoy the next day as the flavors have time to mature.